I’ve just returned from the University of Vienna, where some of the leading European researchers and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines participated in a fascinating three day ‘ethnographic laboratory’, or research workshop, on ‘Practices of Care’. The workshop was an initiative of Prof Tatjana Thelen and a number of her Vienna colleagues. It was an exciting experience and a great honour to be invited as one of the international experts, along with Professor Joan Tronto from the USA, clearly one of the landmark thinkers in this field.
The presentations and discussions included a number of papers on aged care – but extended well beyond that to consider care in its various manifestations: from care of young children and people with disabilities, to care as a communal concern in the villages of Eastern Europe, on the streets of Paris and in the refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Continue reading